Category Archives: Duke Basketball

ee26f9bc-f7bc-4fcc-bc48-22a6aa09e464

Coach K Recovering from Surgery

54DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University and United States National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski underwent successful total knee replacement surgery this morning at Duke University Hospital.

The surgery was performed by Michael P. Bolognesi, M.D., joint replacement orthopaedic surgeon at Duke University Medical Center.

“The technical aspects of the case went as we had hoped, and Coach Krzyzewski is doing well,” Dr. Bolognesi said. “We will try to get him up walking today, as we will let him put as much weight as he tolerates on the implant right away.”

Krzyzewski could be released from the hospital within three days and will begin a rehabilitation program at Duke.

Krzyzewski has won a Division I men’s basketball record 1,043 games in 41 seasons as a college head coach, owning a 1,043-320 overall record and a 970-262 mark in 36 seasons at Duke. He has led Duke to five NCAA championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015), the second-most national titles by a coach in NCAA history.

Krzyzewski has guided the United States National Team to a 75-1 record, including an active 63-game winning streak, and six total medals (five gold) since assuming the position of head coach in 2006. He is a seven-time USA Basketball National Coach of the Year and will lead the team into a third Olympic Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro.

Krzyzewski was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

f8820232-f51e-4fcb-984e-420efb9fcfcd

More All American Honors for Allen

f8820232-f51e-4fcb-984e-420efb9fcfcdKANSAS CITY – Duke sophomore Grayson Allen added to his haul of postseason honors on Monday when he was one of 15 Division I men’s basketball players named to the 2016 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-America teams. Allen was named a third-team All-American by the NABC.

Previously named a second-team All-American by The Sporting News, Allen is the 30th Duke player to earn All-America honors under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Those players have combined to be recognized as All-America selections 44 times since 1981. Krzyzewski has coached at least one All-American in 28 of his 36 seasons at Duke.

Duke has had at least one All-American in each of the last nine seasons, dating to 2008. Allen is Duke’s ninth All-American this decade.

Allen led Duke and currently ranks fifth among major-conference players in scoring with an average of 21.6 points per game. His +17.2-point scoring improvement from a year ago set a new ACC record for year-to-year scoring increase. He scored in double figures 34 times in 36 games this season, including 19 20-point efforts and four games with more than 30 points.

He finished the season on a streak of 25 consecutive games with double-figure points and was not held to fewer than 15 points in 18 regular-season ACC games this season. Allen’s 779 points in 2015-16 were good for seventh place on Duke’s single-season scoring chart, and his scoring average of 21.6 was the 15th-best in a single season in program history.

With 779 points, Allen turned in the second-highest scoring season by a sophomore in Duke history, trailing only the 841 that Jason Williams scored as a sophomore in 2001.

Allen shot 46.6 percent from the floor, a team-high 41.7 percent from three-point range and 83.7 percent from the free throw line. He averaged 4.6 rebounds to go along with team highs of 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. Allen averaged 36.6 minutes per game this season, playing 1,317 minutes to rank 10th on Duke’s single-season chart.

He currently ranks second in the ACC in scoring (21.6), third in minutes played (36.6), fourth in three-point percentage (.417) and three-pointers per game (2.50), fifth in free throw percentage (.837), eighth in steals (1.31) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76).

Allen is just the ninth Duke player to lead the Blue Devils in both scoring and assists in the same season, as well as just the seventh Duke player to average better than 20 points per game and hand out 100 assists in a season.

Allen averaged 7.0 free throw attempts per game on the season, and his 211 made free throws on the campaign are tied for the sixth-most in a single season in Duke history.

A psychology major from Jacksonville, Fla., Allen was honored as a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American on March 3. He was also named to the All-ACC Academic Team for the second consecutive season.

He is the sixth Duke student-athlete to earn on-court All-America honors and Academic All-America recognition in the same season. He joins Mike Gminski (1978, 1979, 1980), Jim Spanarkel (1978, 1979), Shane Battier (2000, 2001), Mike Dunleavy (2002) and Mason Plumlee (2013) in that exclusive group.

Allen was named a first-team All-ACC selection by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) on March 6, giving Duke a first-team all-league member for the 19th time in the last 20 seasons. The following day, he secured first-team All-ACC and Co-Most Improved Player honors from the league’s coaches.

Allen has also been named a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, awarded to the National Player of the Year by the USBWA, as well as the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. He was recognized as an All-District III performer by the USBWA and an All-District 2 honoree by the NABC.

2016 NABC All-America Teams

First Team

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Brice Johnson, North Carolina

Ben Simmons, LSU

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

 

Second Team

Kris Dunn, Providence

Perry Ellis, Kansas

Georges Niang, Iowa State

Jakob Poeltl, Utah

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky

 

Third Team

Grayson Allen, Duke

Kay Felder, Oakland

Yogi Ferrell, Indiana

Josh Hart, Villanova

Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa

Brandon Ingram (14) of the Duke Blue Devils dunks against the Oregon Ducks during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. (Lance King/WRAL contributor)

Ingram, Allen Talk Duke Loss

Brandon Ingram (14) of the Duke Blue Devils dunks against the Oregon Ducks during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. (Lance King/WRAL contributor)
Brandon Ingram (14) of the Duke Blue Devils dunks against the Oregon Ducks during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. (Lance King/Blue Devil Nation

Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen address media after the Duke loss to Oregon.

Q. I'd like to ask Brandon this and if Grayson can chime in afterwards: How pivotal was Jordan Bell's performance for Oregon and what were the biggest problems that he was posing for your team?
BRANDON INGRAM: Of course he's a great player. He challenged us at the rim. When we attacked, he blocked shots well and he just got after it. He brought energy to their team, and we didn't attack strong and it showed up on the boards.

GRAYSON ALLEN: He's a very strong and athletic player. He was going after everything, attacking the basket. He was going up to block everything, and shots that he didn't block he was altering. So he was an X factor for their team.

Q. Grayson, a lot of what you guys try to do is predicated on the drive-and-kick. It looked like they bottled you up specifically on that. Can you talk about their defense collapsing and shutting that part of your game down.
GRAYSON ALLEN: I mean, they're an athletic team and that plays into their defense. So I mean, they did a good job defensively. I thought we also missed some shots around the rim. Could have gone up stronger to finish, but also credit to them for being there and going up to challenge us.

Q. Brandon, what surprised you most about Oregon tonight?
BRANDON INGRAM: I don't think anything would surprise us. I guess, we knew that they were athletic. We knew they rebound the ball, and we knew they spread out the floor and try to drive and kick and attack the basket. So that's something that kept us on our heels and they played well tonight.

Q. Many NBA scouts have you going in the top two picks of this year's NBA Draft. If this is your last collegiate game, what will you remember most about playing at Duke?
BRANDON INGRAM: Well, I'm not really worried about that right now. I'm worried about finishing school and just being with my guys. I love this team, and I'd do anything for this team.

It was amazing my freshman year to play with this competitive guy right here and being with the greatest coach and be with a bunch of competitive tough guys. So I'm just being with my guys right now. I love all of these guys.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils addresses the media following their game against the Oregon Ducks during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. (Lance King/WRAL contributor)

Coach K Talks Duke Exit from NCAA’s

Coach K addresses the media aft his team lost to Oregon in the Sweet 16.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils addresses the media following their game against the Oregon Ducks during the West Regional Semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. (Lance King/WRAL contributor)
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski 

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: First of all, congratulations to Oregon. They were the better team. That was pretty obvious tonight. They were an old, extremely well-coached team. Great athletes playing together and they knocked us back. They were always in control of the game. Right at the end I thought we could do a Texas A&M thing there when we got it down to 10 and got the three and it rimmed out. But then like amazing things have to happen.

I'm proud of my team. My team had just a great, great year. With the injuries and youth and limited guys, for them in our league to win 25 games, and Sweet Sixteen, just a terrific group. A terrific year, and proud of them. Wish we could have played better, but Oregon didn't let us play better.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Krzyzewski.

Q. Coach, looked like you spent some time talking to Dillon Brooks after the game. I wonder if you could share what you spoke to him about and if you could address that.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, I just congratulated him. He's a terrific player. He's a terrific player. He makes their team go. He doesn't have a position. He doesn't have a position. He plays all positions, and he plays them so strong. His versatility, Dana uses it so well. They have a few guys like that, but obviously he's the best one. He's the best one.

One thing I should have mentioned right away, Benson had a great game. The threes he hit to start the second half, I thought we were in a good mood to get going and he knocked down those two. To get eight assists and only one turnover, he's like an unsung hero for their team, with all the athletes and the blocked shots and all of that. The game he played, the floor game and the shots he hit were terrific.

Q. Mike, you've been to the Elite Eight many times. It will be the first time for Dana Altman. What would you say to a coach who has been doing this a long time --
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, congratulations first of all. That's what I'd tell him. For any coach who gets there, that's an honor, and you don't know if you're ever going to get there again. You're one step away from -- I think as a coach, we all would like to win National Championships. But you cross a certain bridge when you go to the Final Four. And some of the great coaches in the history of our game have never gotten to the Final Four. So you're one step away.

I think every coach knows, especially him, he's been coaching for three decades. I mean, he's a really good coach. He understands that. He's coaching against another really good guy. You talk about two of the really good guys in the profession, he and Lon are pros. But that's one step away from utopia, and I don't know, National Championships, the penthouse, and wherever utopia is. Thank goodness we've been there a few times.

Q. Coach, the offensive rebounds and the rebounds in general were again a point of emphasis and a big discrepancy --
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Not as big as it usually is. We're not 20 or 30 behind.

I don't think the rebounding had much to do with it tonight. You know, the blocked shots, their athleticism where you think you're open and then they're so good laterally and then they have guys that go vertical. That combination, if you do get past the lateral on the drive, boom, the other stuff is there. That combination was, to me, something you just don't face very often. You can't -- first of all, we don't practice that much, we can't, but you can't simulate that. Actually, rebounding-wise we weren't as bad. It was just the other stuff.

Q. Coach, I know he wasn't up here earlier, but Marshall Plumlee, his last game for Duke. What will you miss most about him but not only that but the fact that there won't be a Plumlee on your roster next year?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: I'd rather not talk about the Plumlees. I'd rather just talk about Marshall. No kid has improved more in one year in my 36 years here at Duke than Marshall. He was as important a player as we could have especially after Amile got hurt, the amount of minutes, the situations that he was put in. He had a fabulous year for us, and that's what I'll remember.

I'm proud of him. I love the kid. There is no way we have the season -- we've had a terrific year. Not a good one, we've had a terrific year, and he's one of the main reasons for it. In his profession, hopefully he's going to be a pro player, but the service, the best thing you could say, because I was in the service and a captain in the Army, is "well done", and that's what I would say to him, "Well done, son. Well done."

Q. I know it's really fresh, but taking a step back, looking back, would you say that this team met or exceeded your expectations coming into the Tournament?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, we expect to win every time we go on the court or else I shouldn't coach, you know. That doesn't mean we're going to, but when we started the year, we had four guys coming back, who only one of them started, from the National Championship and we have a lot of young guys. Then we lost our best rebounder and leader on the court. Our team could not even have been in the Tournament. Instead this group of kids fought like crazy and went through a gauntlet of Louisville, Virginia, North Carolina, and Louisville, and we won three and almost won the fourth one and it made us. It knocked us back, too. It knocks a lot out of you, but it defined the season and put us in a position where we're No. 4 seed and pretty good.

I wish we could be more fresh and all that, but you go into all those battles, you can't be. That's why I'm proud of my guys. I mean, they still battled at the end. There was a part of that game where you could just get blown out because they're hitting threes and they're playing so well and they're in control. All of a sudden, again, I'm not saying -- not like I believe in the Easter Bunny, don't tell anybody, or fairy tales, but when we got it down to 10 and Brandon had the three at the top, I've been involved in stranger things. I thought my team, if you hit that, they're gutsy enough to win. So that's why I love them.

It wasn't smooth for us tonight, but, again, playing them it's not going to be very smooth. They're so good.

Q. How long do you think about a game like this before you have to switch your mind and prepare for coaching Team USA?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Yeah, well, I owe it to my group to be their coach and make sure that they feel the pride that we feel for them in what they've done, and then make sure as they move on, whether it's a freshman to a sophomore, whatever, that we put them in the right spot.

But, you know, I have a hard time when you lose and you've been a loser. When you lose and you've been a winner, I'm okay with that because not everybody wins. That's why winning this whole thing, there aren't very many. There's only one team that's going to win this whole thing.

So I take pride in what my guys -- they were winners this year, and I want to make sure they feel that and then they get in the right spots academically, basketball, what Brandon is going to do, Marshall, all these kids. That's my responsibility.

But I'll be ready. I've got a little medical procedure I've got to take care of, but I'll be ready for USA.

Q. Mike, when you look back at your scouting of Oregon, what does Jordan Bell offer that Chris Boucher does not, even though they're both tall, they're both post players and they're similar in that regard?
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: Well, they're both good. They're two of the best shot blockers in the country. You know, Boucher is somebody that stretches you with shooting and Bell is athletic and inside. But both of them protect the rim. When they have both of them in the game, it's tough to get there.

But they're both terrific players, so there's not going to be that much difference except that one shoots threes and the other one doesn't.

Q. Apparently after the game Dillon said that you told him that he was too good of a player to be showing off at the end like that --
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: I didn't say that.

Q. He said of you that you were right.
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: You can say whatever you want. Dillon Brooks is a hell of a player. I said, "You're a terrific player." And you can take whatever he said and then go with it, all right?

I want to thank all of you. I want to thank all of you, and thank you, especially, for following us and following us so well during the year. I appreciate the invitation to play in this great tournament more than anybody. We've been in it longer than everybody, and we lost to a hell of a team. We lost to a hell of a team. And all the volunteers that make this tournament what it is, we want to thank them for that because it's the greatest show on Earth, and it's the greatest show on Earth, and it's an honor to be a part of it. All right. Thank you.

5c3d2697-abd2-4bc3-8c86-884a7169e159

Don’t Underestimate Duke

5c3d2697-abd2-4bc3-8c86-884a7169e159No matter where you look these days, whether it be Jay Bilas at ESPN or  beat writers, not many are giving Duke a chance to continue their season. There is pretty good reason be it the well documented loss of a key cog in Amile Jefferson to limited depth and players still developing.

During yesterdays question and answer sessions, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski and players Grayson Allen and Matt Jones fielded both bait and doubt.  Many tried their best to show that Duke might be overlooking their opponent, the Oregon Ducks.  Others threw negative stats up and each time they were met with deflection to something more positive from the Duke coach.

It seemed that some were making Duke out to be unfamiliar with Oregon or that questions pointed to the Blue Devils being on life support.  One never knows until the game is played who might be right in their speculation, but this Blue Devil team has been more than tested.  This group, thin as it is, has been through a gauntlet in ACC play where six teams are playing in the next two days.  While the Duke team could indeed be that house on a cliff as Krzyzewski hinted to, it doesn't mean that the foundation is ready to fall just yet.

Much has been made of Oregon and their 30-6 record for good reason.  They are eight players deep, solid in all phases of the game but they are not unbeatable.  Yes, they have six players from California and they are not battling a three-hour time adjustment that Duke has to do.  But this Duke team as flawed as some make it out to be can survive and advance.

For Duke it starts with  Marshall Plumlee, who Krzyzewski calls his most important player.  The senior must of course stay out of foul trouble but his leadership has been phenomenal.  While all of the Plumlees have been good at Duke, none of them have taken on a role as large as Marshall.  This will be the third and last Plumlee's biggest challenge to date, but if heart means anything, he is capable of completing the mission.

Duke also has the best one-two offensive punch in college basketball in Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram.  In many folks opinion, Ingram is the best freshman out there.  He will not be returning to Duke next season, so this is his swan song.  This is the time he will leave his lasting memory.  Ingram can do special things and it will take his best effort to date for the Blue Devils to move on.

Grayson Allen has been put into an unfair category with Duke legend Christian Laettner.  Having been around both players in their playing days, I find the comparison way off the mark.  Allen, while confident is not cocky off the court.  The only thing these two have in common is that they are great players who play with tenacity when the ball is tipped, but it ends there.

Allen has had a sensational season for Duke where he has made himself with the help of the staff into one of the best college basketball players in America.  Having Allen on your side is a good thing and Oregon, despite their defensive prowess will have to deal with that.

The key for Duke in this game will be play of the rest of the Blue Devils cast.  Duke needs smart minutes from Derryck Thornton who is capable of having a solid game.  They will need for Matt Jones to be on top of his game on defense.  The Blue Devils could use good minutes from Chase Jeter who will see time and he is capable as well of making a difference.

But perhaps the one player who must find his moments is Luke Kennard.  His shots might not be there like normal in the way the Ducks play defense and his adjustment to that and scoring the ball will be something to watch.

Duke can and will win this game if they get a solid performance across the board from its rotation.  But it will take all cylinders running in unison which is why so many doubt them going into tonight's game.

The Blue Devils have won some big games this season, but none of them would be as huge as tonight's game.  Oregon is the beast of the PAC 12, but Duke is a team that has faced adversity and doubt all season long.

I'm thinking Duke will show up an they have something left in the tank.

9a87d330-44d1-4e05-aa58-20f3664f10ac

Allen and Jones Talk Duke vs Oregon

9a87d330-44d1-4e05-aa58-20f3664f10acDuke players Grayson Allen and Matt Jones addressed the media in Anaheim earlier today.

Q. Matt and Grayson, your coach said that Marshall is one of the most important players on this team. How has his leadership really helped you guys throughout the NCAA Tournament and before?

MATT JONES: For me Marshall's our anchor, especially on the defensive end. For a guard to hear your big man call out the screens, kind of call out the coverage, it helps you a lot. He gives us ultimate confidence. More times than not, Marshall's the biggest player on the court. So to have the biggest player on the court on your side, you definitely want that.

GRAYSON ALLEN: He's done a great job being our emotional leader. He plays with a lot of fire down there. He makes plays that are effort plays, ripping down rebounds, coming over and blocking shots. Then he shows his emotion and it really fires us up and brings us all energy.

Q. Looking at online pictures of the hotel you guys are staying in, it seems a little castle-esque. I was just curious to your reaction? If it's a little different from where you guys have been staying this year?
GRAYSON ALLEN: It reminded me -- I'm from Florida, so it reminded me as a little kid going to Disney and staying in one of those hotels because that's pretty much what it is. It's a little different. It brings back memories of your childhood definitely.

MATT JONES: Yeah, it is different, like G says. I like the fact that Disneyland is right across the street or whatever. But it's different.

Q. Coach said that your ankle, I guess, is not quite 100% healed from the North Carolina game. I was curious if that was what was bothering you against Yale or if that's something that continues to wear on you?
MATT JONES: It's something that I just try to take care of day by day. Some days hurt more than others. But against Yale, I just had a bad game. Luckily my teammates were there, like always, to pick me up.

But as far as my ankle goes, it's something that's tolerable. At this point everybody's going through something, so I just had to get through it.

Q. I don't know how much you guys have had a chance to watch Oregon at all. I noticed a lot against Saint Joseph's they pressed a lot and that's kind of what you struggled with against Providence. How much have you seen and what is your takeaway with their athleticism?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, we've definitely watched a lot of film on them. We don't get to see as much of them during the regular season because of West Coast and East Coast, but we have seen a lot of film. They're a very athletic team, and that's what makes their press good. They have athletic guys. They have a lot of size out there on the court with four guys around the same height. So for us we just have to be sharp and handle the press. Like he said, we didn't handle it well against Yale, but hopefully that will be a learning experience and we'll be better.

Q. This is basically a follow-up to the last question: What challenges either in terms of individual match-ups or tactics does Oregon pose for you individually and collectively?
GRAYSON ALLEN: They're a very athletic team. You look at them and you could argue they're one of the most athletic teams in the country with a combination of size and just athleticism they put on the court. Their guys attack you. So offensively they can really spread the floor, at times go five out, and that's tough for most teams to guard the way they can take guys off the dribble, kickout, and almost all their guys can hit threes. It's a tough team to defend.

Then defensively with the lineup that they do have out there, it allows them to switch a lot of stuff because they all can guard similar positions. That's a tough team when you have versatile players like that.

MATT JONES: Kind of like what G says. They can attack us, like we try to attack others with four guards, and very athletic big men. Like G said, their athleticism can really affect people, and the way they play, they play really hard. They're very well coached. So we just have to try to match their intensity.

Q. Grayson, there are a bunch of big-name programs that play in this tournament every year, Kansas, Carolina, Kentucky, but it seems like when people see Duke it inspires maybe some extra strong feelings. Have you guys experienced that? And do you have any thoughts on maybe why that is?
GRAYSON ALLEN: At this point in the Tournament, Sweet Sixteen, it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to get the other team's best. Doesn't matter if you're Duke or whoever you are. At this point I don't think that's a factor for the other team. We know when we go to gyms that there is going to be a section of Duke fans, a section of Oregon fans, and then everyone else is rooting against us, so we're okay with that.

Q. If you could both answer this: Among the teams left in the Tournament you are among the lower-scoring second-half teams. To what do you attribute that? Is it even worrisome to you at all?
MATT JONES: I don't think it's worrisome. We've proven time and time throughout the year that we can score the ball, no matter the half. Obviously we haven't had, like you said, the second halves that we would like, but we're fortunate to have another game to where we can try to put a complete game together, first and second half. So as far as scoring the ball goes, that's not really our problem. We've been fortunate about that. We just have to get stops.

GRAYSON ALLEN: For us, we just need to stay in attack mode the whole game. We have a lot of scorers on our team, and with that we have guys that come out to hot starts. Luke and Brandon can really just get going early. So for us, we just have to fight through the little break at halftime and come out in the second half attacking the same way.

Q. I believe Yale had 20 offensive rebounds, scored 21 second-chance points. How important will it be tomorrow to be physical with Oregon and keep them off the glass?
GRAYSON ALLEN: It will be very important, especially with their athleticism, and they send a lot of guys after the glass three, four, sometimes five guys. In the St. Joe's game they got a big bucket at the end off an offensive rebound, so we know that's going to be key. It's been one of our weaknesses, but we want to try to make it a strength for us, defensive rebounding, and really limit second-chance opportunities.

MATT JONES: Yeah, like G said, that's one of their strengths. But like I said earlier, we're fortunate enough to have another game. Anything can happen. We can come out and have our best rebounding game. So we just have to focus on that and focus on our game plan.

Q. Matt, how much during the course of the season do you refer to what happened to last year and the experience you guys had? Because you're in a place where you've all been before. You've experienced the highest you can get, and Oregon's still trying to break through to that level. How much does last year's experience help you?
MATT JONES: It helps a lot. We have guys that have been here before, so obviously we can take that experience and just make sure that the younger guys know it's going to be a different atmosphere. The first and second round was good, but it's nothing like Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight kind of atmosphere.

So we have to make sure that they're tuned into what we need to do. Make sure they're focused on the game plan and just to have fun. Because at the end of the day, it's just a game. If they have fun and be themselves, we should be all right.

Q. Oregon as a program in general, what have you guys made of their ascension as a program since Dana Altman arrived in 2010?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, he's done a great job. You can tell they're a very well-coached team and they're very talented as well. It's a credit to him doing a great job recruiting. Look at the team they have, they have a combination of young guys. Dorsey is a really good freshman and older guys as well. So to have that combination, I mean, he's doing a good job there.

MATT JONES: I think what really impresses me is how hard they play. They play together. You can tell that they're comfortable with each other, and that's a credit to their coaching.